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December 10, 2023

Meet Kadir: From Engineer to Aspiring Data Scientist

With 15 years of experience as an electrical engineer, circumstances led Kadir to seek refuge in Switzerland with his wife and children. He was scared to start from scratch. However, Kadir discovered Kiron’s mentoring program. Read to learn more about his experience…
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With 15 years of experience as an electrical engineer, circumstances led Kadir to seek refuge in Switzerland with his wife and children. He was scared to start from scratch. However, Kadir discovered Kiron’s mentoring program. Read to learn more about his experience…

Kadir, at the age of forty, with a family to care for, found himself facing the need for a fresh start due to political issues in his homeland, Turkey. He spent 15 years managing projects in the communication sector, in his role as an electrical engineer. However, circumstances forced him to leave everything behind and establish a new life.

As an undergraduate, he majored in Electrical Engineering. He then pursued a Master’s degree in Electromagnetics and began a Ph.D. Unfortunately, it was during this time that political issues disrupted his pursuits, leading to the decision to seek refuge in Switzerland.

“Being a refugee is hard, but it was the best to know that there were people who wanted to help you.” says Kadir.

After spending 11 months in Switzerland, while he was still in his integration phase, he discovered the Mentoring Exchange for Refugee Growth and Empowerment. He was motivated to try something new because he wanted to offer a good opportunity to his wife and children who had to move with him.

Kadir then started taking part in the mentoring program, which provided a support system for him. It reinforced the idea that, even in the face of adversity, there are individuals willing to extend a helping hand.

Despite the weight of responsibility resting on his shoulders due to family obligations, his mentor's reassuring words encouraged him to think positively and emphasized the importance of taking the time when making plans, and not pushing himself too hard. Kadir says that changing his perspective was the most valuable thing for him.

“The fact that I had to start life from scratch in a different country scared me a lot. Having someone listen to me, expressing myself, and my plans to him helped me a lot. I am grateful to my mentor (Jan Kappen).” - Kadir.

The journey was transformative. Nevertheless, the challenges were not absent. Dealing with the hurdle of an unreliable internet connection in his new residence, Kadir adapted by attending the sessions in unconventional locations, such as railway stations and other places like course venues that had better connectivity. Despite this, Kadir was determined to pursue stability and a secure future for his family.

Looking ahead, Kadir's vision extends beyond his past expertise, even if that means considering a new career to provide a better future for his family. Becoming a data scientist has sparked his interest, a decision rooted in the desire for more confident future planning.

“I want to change my path. I want to be a data scientist. As a data scientist, I will be able to make my future planning with more confident steps.” - Kadir.

As we wrapped up our conversation, Kadir disclosed an exciting development and his next steps - he has been accepted for the ‘Data Science and Artificial Intelligence’ at a university. After graduating from the university, he wants to find a good job.

Kadir exuded determination and hope. His story is not only one of personal transformation but also a testament to the influential role of mentoring and a person's resilience in overcoming adversity. The journey from electrical engineer to aspiring data scientist is marked by challenges, yes, but more importantly, by an unwavering belief in a brighter tomorrow.

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